Living in Hedge End & Bishops Waltham
What is life like in Hedge End & Bishops Waltham?
Bishop's Waltham is a small and peaceful town located in the Hamble Valley in Hampshire, a short distance from major cities and glorious countryside.
Traditionally a market town, Bishop's Waltham is now a picturesque and relaxed base for thousands of families and young professionals who want to live in a pleasant setting a short distance from where they work.
As such, links to Southampton, Portsmouth, Winchester, Bournemouth and other parts of southern England are excellent. At the weekends, residents are ideally placed to enjoy the greenery of the Hamble Valley and the South Downs.
The ruins of the medieval Bishop's Waltham Palace are in the centre of the town and continue to act as a popular and iconic landmark.
Bishop's Waltham has a fascinating history that has helped to shape the appearance and character it retains even today.
Central to the town's history is Bishop's Waltham Palace, which was used by bishops and senior clergy of Winchester as they travelled through their diocese. It was built by William Wykeham in 1367, with some of the former bishop's work still in evidence today.
It is a fascinating place to visit, with the ground floor of the palace housing a town museum. Other historic buildings once owned by the Bishops of Winchester include Farnham Castle and Wolvesey Castle.
In the 19th century, Bishop's Waltham became a market town, famous for its cattle market and other agricultural suppliers. Significant progress was made in 1872 with the building of a railway line in nearby Botley and a connection to London was formed soon after.
The most famous person to hail from Bishop's Waltham is Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden, who was born in the town in 1971. It is also the home of sports presenter Jeff Stelling, who moved there from his native north-east.
Entertainment, sport and days out
Bishop's Waltham is ideally placed for a host of entertainment options. In addition to the historic palace ruins in the town itself, attractions such as Marwell Zoo and Winchester Cathedral are only a short distance away.
Undoubtedly the most popular option among locals is to explore the nearby countryside, with the source of the River Hamble found a few miles from Bishop's Waltham. Other points of interest include a working mill and a vineyard.
When it comes to sport, plenty of opportunities are open to people in the area. A local cricket club has three sides in the Hampshire Cricket League as well as junior teams, while the Dynamos youth football club is one of the largest in the UK.
Eating, drinking & shopping
A number of highly-regarded, independent restaurants can be found in the town, offering a range of cuisines. For a true taste of Hampshire, heading to the Hampshire Bowman for a selection of traditional pub grub is a good idea, while the Bishop's Waltham Tandoori and Piccola Roma are the top spots for Indian and Italian dishes respectively.
Shoppers will also find some wonderful retail facilities in the town centre, with a range of independent stores trading in the high street. It can often be worth travelling just ten miles to Winchester or 15 miles to Southampton for more extravagant shopping options.
Schools & healthcare
Bishop's Waltham is home to its own infant and junior schools, with these located in the centre of the town. The latter has around 220 pupils on its books at the current time. There is also a Montessori school nearby for those parents who would prefer this option.
For secondary schools and university education, Bishop's Waltham residents will have to travel a short distance towards Southampton, where plenty of institutions can be found.
Bishop's Waltham has its own surgery that can be used by anyone seeking medical treatment, while University Hospital Southampton is less than 15 miles away and can be easily accessed for more serious matters.
Hedge End enjoys an ideal location close to the M27 just off Junction 7, as well as being just a short distance from Southampton, Winchester and Portsmouth with its own train station. This makes it a great place to live for people who work in the area, while families are also keen to call it home.
Botley train station is only three miles from Bishop's Waltham and provides services to Southampton in just a few minutes and to London in around 90 minutes.